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Insect elytra resist shear and cracking: beetles


Euchroea auripimenta / Richard Bart.. / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

Elytra of beetles maintain integrity of their two layers by transforming forces through connecting bio-nails.

"Nature is replete with examples of layered-structure materials that are evolved through billions of years to provide high performance. Insect elytra (a portion of the exoskeleton) have evoked worldwide research attention and are believed to serve as fuselages and wings of natural aircraft. This work focuses on the relationship between structure, mechanical behavior, and failure mechanisms of the elytra. We report a failure-mode-optimization (FMO) mechanism that can explain elytra's mechanical behaviors. We show initial evidence that this mechanism makes bio-structures of low-strength materials strong and ductile that can effectively resist shear forces and crack growth. A bio-inspired design of a joint by using the FMO mechanism has been proved by experiments to have a potential to increase the interface shear strength as high as about 2.5 times. The FMO mechanism, which is based on the new concept of property-structure synergetic coupling proposed in this work, offer some thoughts to deal with the notoriously difficult problem of interface strength and to reduce catastrophic failure events." (Fan et al. 2005:229)
About the inspiring organism
Med_800pxsaperda_carcharias02 Coleoptera

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Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Design of airplane wings and other structures in increase their strength and resistance to pressures. Might be useful for construction in areas with earthquakes, hurricanes, floods.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Manufacturing, transportation, construction

Inamori School of Engineering
Jinghong Fan
Alfred University
Research Center of Material Mechanics
Bin Chen Zhihui Gao Chunting Xiang
ChongQing University
Fan, J.; Chen, B.; Gao, Z.; Xiang, C. 2005. Mechanisms in Failure Prevention of Bio-Materials and Bio-Structures. Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures. 12(3): 229-237.
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over 6 years ago
Thanks to Duarte Miguel Prazeres for finding and contributing these photos.
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